Trump makes unconstitutional case for arresting protester at Michigan rally

Donald Trump at a rally in Cadillac.
Donald Trump at a rally in Cadillac.

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

When a protester taunted Donald Trump at a rally in Cadillac, Mich., on Friday, the Republican frontrunner called for his arrest.

His reasoning?

“I would arrest him for a filthy, dirty mouth,” Trump told police as the man was escorted out of the building. “And then we’ll see what his mommy and daddy say when they have to go and bail him out.”

Trump, who regularly cites the Constitution to support his arguments and often resorts to hateful rhetoric to demean his foes, seemingly has little knowledge of – or respect for – the First Amendment rights of those who oppose him.

Trump might be wise to brush up on constitutional law and Michigan’s own famous case involving a canoeist who was convicted in 1999 of violating an antiquated law that prohibited “vulgar language” in front of women and children. That conviction was later overturned by the Michigan Court of Appeals on the grounds that it was unconstitutional to ban such speech.

Finally, in December 2015, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill that eliminated numerous outdated laws, including the prohibition on swearing in public.

“Modernizing state government is an ongoing effort,” Snyder said after signing the bill. “I appreciate the work of the legislature in analyzing the criminal code and eliminating statutes that no longer make sense in the 21st century.”

The U.S. Supreme Court also has ruled in several cases that the use of profane language is generally not a punishable form of speech.

Nevertheless, Trump supporters, oddly, chanted “USA, USA, USA!” in response to the Republican’s call for the protester’s arrest.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Apparently decades of breathing Hairspray fumes several times a day adds up to brain damage.

  • Apparently decades of breathing Hairspray fumes several times a day adds up to brain damage.

  • Tom

    Trump is in because very early the media covered everything Trump does regardless of size or importance.
    He hired actors to fill the audience to announce his candidacy.

    Sanders would draw huge (documentable) crowds most places he spoke with zero coverage.
    Months ago the Free Press and Scripps conducted a poll of who would be the favorite between Bush, Clinton or Trump such a front page emblazoned poll tells the public there are no other candidates.

    Post Joint Operating Agreement Detroit has 2/3 of a newspaper under 2 banners and folks like Javier say “why pay more people to cover the same story?”

    Please unless this fascist comes into the Detroit boundaries to spew the hate ignore him.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Steve you could spend all of your remaining years fighting this on college campuses.

    I suggest you do that if you really care about this, I think this is political, and you do not care about free speech, so long as you agree with the direction the censorship goes.

    By all means, make this a thing.

    You dislike Trump, if you went to U of M and made a big deal about all their rules on campus, you would get called a Trump supporter hundreds of times per day, for years, because you would be going against leftist censorship of opposing ideas.

    Please do it if you care.

  • Dongald Trumpenis

    Drumpf looked so mad you could see there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his… wherever.

  • Third World Detroit

    …said the guy who repeatedly alludes to the size of his penis in public.

  • Trexinmichigan

    It’s the natural progression when you want to create a modern day fascist movement.